Image: courtesy Forth Ports

Port of Tilbury unveils new rail freight strategy

The Port of Tilbury, the major trading port gateway for London, has unveiled plans to reinvigorate its entire rail freight infrastructure, including the introduction of regular intermodal services to the Midlands and Scotland.

With three rail terminals in the port and the Essex Thameside rail corridor already accounting for approximately 10 per cent of the UK’s rail freight traffic, the port – which is just 25 miles from London – is projecting a major uplift in its freight traffic through bulk and intermodal movements. Together with its commercial partners, it plans to make improvements such as a dedicated bulk terminal and run rail services into a new 152-acre deepwater port terminal, known as Tilbury2.

Multimodal approach

Ross McKissock, Asset Manager for the London Container Terminal, Tilbury, outlined the port’s plans at the latest conference of the Rail Freight Group, the UK’s trade association for rail freight operators and other key stakeholders. Peter Ward, the port’s Commercial Director, said: “As part of our sustainable and multimodal approach, Tilbury is making the most of its assets and seeking to build afresh to ensure that our customers and tenants think rail, river and road when seeking the most effective delivery solution.

“We are underway with a major overhaul of our rail offering. This year, the port took possession of the Freightliner-operated rail terminal and we have reconfigured the site to create a first for Tilbury, a dedicated bulk materials rail terminal. Initially, the port will be establishing regular movements of recycling glass to Cheshire and other UK locations. In time, we hope to grow the port’s rail freight offering across a range of bulk materials, with associated growth in rail movements.”

‘Big success story’

Lord Berkeley OBE, Chairman of the Rail Freight Group, said: “Intermodal rail freight continues to be a big success story, and Port of Tilbury’s developments and future plans are a growing part of that, with the launch of new intermodal services and the lodging of an application for a development consent order with the Planning Inspectorate to permit a new rail connected port terminal, Tilbury2. Our members look forward to supporting the team’s efforts in the months and years ahead to continue this success story.”

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for RailFreight.com - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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